DeYoung Exhibit

Video Poem

Presented in a video format with images expanding the context of the written word, The Archaeology of Silence is an original poem and response to the exhibition. In addition to the video, the poem is available as an audio file, and can be read on the back of the zine.

Written by 2023 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists:

Ella Gordon
Maya Raveneau-Bey
Aniylah Dixon

Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence

These materials are designed by seven Bay Area teens participating in the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Program. Over seven weeks the team visited the exhibition, explored how the content relates to the Bay Area, and made their own creative responses. These young poets from diverse backgrounds explored the often-difficult themes with respect, authenticity, and curiosity. These resources aim to create a space for all youth to explore how artist Kehinde Wiley’s message connects to their lives.

Working collaboratively across small teams, the poets developed:

  • A zine to be used before, during, and after visiting the exhibition
  • An original poem with accompanying video (coming September 8) that responds to the work in the exhibition
  • An art prompt for youth to explore their own responses to Wiley’s work


The zine touches on themes of solidarity, culture, cultural appropriation, and care. It is a personal space to process the complexity of Kehinde Wiley’s artistic approach and message. On the back of the zine you will find the youth-authored poem for reference as well as botanical symbology connected to the art project.

Developed by Nairobi Barnes, 2023 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate
and Michelle Vong, 2023 Vice Oakland Youth Poet Laureate

Illustrated by Greer Nakadegawa-Lee, 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate


We hope you enjoyed the beautiful and moving artwork of Kehinde Wiley. This art project is set up as a reflection. It should give people time to think about their experience in the exhibition. Since it can sometimes be difficult to write about feelings, we planned out a project that gives students the option to either write or draw. This project should take about 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. The first 20 minutes should be dedicated to writing or drawing and the remainder used to complete the collage.

Art Activity Graphic Organizer 

Developed by 2023 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalists:
Isabel Park
Serafina Mackintosh

Art Prompt Collage Examples

By Michelle Vong
By Isabel Park
By Serafina Mackintosh

Let us know about your experience using the materials and visiting the de Young.

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